Administration using war on terror to consolidate power, he says
Sunday, November 9, 2003
Former Vice President Al Gore accused the Bush administration Sunday of using the war on terrorism "to consolidate its power and escape any accountability for its use."
Gore said that though the threat of terrorism and the potential use of weapons of mass destruction required speedy action by the executive branch, "President Bush has stretched this new practical imperative way beyond what is healthy for our democracy."
Gore said the Bush administration has sought "to rule by secrecy and unquestioned authority," and he accused Republicans in Congress of aiding the White House by threatening to shut down investigations over political disputes.
"They have taken us much farther down the road toward an intrusive, Big Brother-style government -- toward the dangers prophesied by George Orwell in his book '1984' -- than anyone ever thought would be possible in the United States of America," Gore said.
Well, it's only Al, who I guess is being dismissed by these Harvard savants as a raving crank even before the Bush surveillance state stuff came out, and go figure.
Of course, more recently we had a President who let the IRS stifle Tea Party opposition and promised that Congress could be circumvented since he had a pen and a phone. Did anyone consider that a threat to our democracy? No one these guys talk too, I suspect. Was Crony Capitalist Hillary with access and justice for sale, a threat to our democracy? Don't ask Bernie's supporters!
Well. Much as I hate to pick a favorite, I love this paragraph:
Mr. Trump tests positive [as an anti-democratic politician]. In the campaign, he encouraged violence among supporters; pledged to prosecute Hillary Clinton; threatened legal action against unfriendly media; and suggested that he might not accept the election results.
Oh, boo Trump! Of course, back in the day Obama and his people talked about punching back twice as hard and bringing a gun to a knife fight, but whatever. As to encouraging violence among supporters, the Obama Waltz with Black Lives Matters protestors, rioters and assassins.
As to the worry that Trump "suggested that he might not accept the election results", do these guys even read the papers?
But let me switch Ivory Towers! Down in Princeton, we hear from the Sam Wang of the Princeton Election Consortium, the 99 Per Center who insisted that Hillary had the election in the bag. Among his tips for saving democracy:
3. Keep the media on task. A free press is one of our remaining defenses.
Well, as per Glenn's advice, to get a watchdog media we need to elect a white male Republican (I'll add "hetero"), so we can already check the "Wake up the media" box.
But Prof. Wang provides an example of our watchdog press, and don'cha know? Banana peel!
Here’s an example of a success.
— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) December 15, 2016
Hmm, well, kinda yes, but no. Here is the Times story which emerges from their archives after searching for "F-word":
Obama Says U.S. Will Retaliate for Russia’s Election Meddling
And the search:
Or, Google News:
Oh dear - the glorious headline has been changed, although it Lives On in the Intertubes. But why might it have been changed?
Well, maybe because it was Fake News. This looks like a version of the original story someone else extensively 'fair-used', so bear with me; the Big Reveal is in paragraph five, although it is foreshadowed in the lede:
Trump Falsely Says U.S. Claim of Russian Hacking Came After Election
22:45 15 december 2016
Source: The New York Times
U.S. Republican President-elect Donald Trump on Monday renewed his questions about U.S. intelligence reports that Russia intervened in the presidential election by targeting his rival. In two posts on Twitter, Trump also suggested that politics played a role in the news reports on the Russian hacking that emerged late last week."Can you imagine if the election results were the opposite and WE tried to play the Russia/CIA card. It would be called conspiracy theory!" he wrote.A second tweet said, "Unless you catch 'hackers' in the act, it is very hard to determine who was doing the hacking.
“Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?” Mr. Trump asked, ignoring the fact that the director of national intelligence, James R. Clapper Jr., formally blamed Russia on Oct. 7 — a full month before Election Day — for the cyberattack on the Democratic National Committee and other organizations. In September, meeting privately in China with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, Mr. Obama not only complained, the White House says, but warned him of consequences if the Russian activity did not halt.
“If Russia, or some other entity, was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act?” Mr. Trump wrote.
Wait! Not to be all Clintonian, but did Trump's tweet criticize the US Government as a whole, the administration, or the White House? As has been widely remarked, Obama took to the bully pulpit himself to denounce the South Korean hack on Sony, but left it to the ODNI and DHS to engage in pre-election complaining. Of course, a headline that read "Trump Falsely Accuses Obama Of Saying Nothing Publicly About Russian Hacking Before Election" wouldn't quite be accurate, would it? Hence, the extensive re-write.
That said, USA Today is not so circumspect:
For the Record: Trump falsely claims W.H. didn't mention Russia before his win
Another day, another Trump Twitter tirade. Thursday morning's edition hit on Vanity Fair and journalists in general before the president-elect spouted a particularly bold falsehood. "If Russia, or some other entity, was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act?" Trump tweeted. "Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?"
Of course, they didn't. The same Internet that gives Trump a platform also leaves his statements vulnerable to fact checks: Both the Department of Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence formally accused Russia of using hacking to influence the election on Oct. 7, a month before Election Day.
So now the ODNI and the DHS are "the White House"? And if their quote of his tweet is accurate, Trump's first point was that the White House did not "act", which as best we know is still true. That said, he added "Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?", when "they" writ large had complained in October.
Well. As to what Trump actually thinks about this topic or any other, who the hell knows? He may well be in denial on the question of Russian involvement or (more defensibly) agnostic on the question of Russian motivation. But if he wants to criticize Obama for pre-election dithering, well, so do plenty of lefties. As to using Fake News as a cure for Trumpism, the Times seems to have backed away from that approach, today at least.